The choice to develop the feature film division, led by a charismatic leader, is seen as ideal to position Toonz as a key player in the in the world of feature film after the group established its reputation as the industry leader in animation and children’s entertainment. Toonz Media Group is at European Film Market
Toonz Media Group, which has been serving the global children and family entertainment market for around 25 years, is expanding into features with the formation of a division helmed by industry veteran Ariel Veneziano.
Veneziano, who formerly served as president of Icon Entertainment International, where he supervised sales on Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ, plans to make additional feature announcements in the run-up to Cannes. The company will work with in-house and third-party content. Toonz Media Group is at Euroepan Film Market.
During his tenure at Alliance Atlantis Communication as Director of Sales and Distribution, he handled international distribution on Michael Moore’s award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine, and America’s most watched television show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Ariel has also served as President of Gold Valley Films International where he helped arrange partnerships with top theatrical distributors.
Sharing his vision, Ariel Veneziano, President of Toonz Feature Film Division said: “Toonz is a highly recognizable brand in the kids and family space, having established relationships with exceptional creators of content. I look forward to helping the group capitalize on the many opportunities in the feature film world, with an initial focus on high end animated movies for the theatrical marketplace.”
“Having firmly established Toonz as the worldwide leader in animation and kid’s entertainment, I feel this is the right time to launch the feature film division headed by a dynamic leader. Post Berlin, Ariel will announce additions to his team along with new projects currently under development. He is tasked with making Toonz a global force in the feature film world,” P Jayakumar, Chief Executive Officer of Toonz Media Group commented.
Toonz is co-producing Isabella Blanco’s family animation adventure movie Little Emma with Gold Valley Entertainment, China. The plot revolves around a small girl adopted by animal parents who longs to learn the truth about her human ancestors. Together with Robert Chandler’s Space Age Films and Align Pictures US Inc., Toonz is also co-producing the Oscar Wilde adaptation The Canterville Ghost. International sales are handled by Cinema Management Group.
Prior positions held by Veneziano include president of Gold Valley Pictures International and director of sales and distribution at Alliance Atlantis.
In the children’s and family market, Toonz is a very recognisable brand, having developed ties with outstanding content providers, said Veneziano. He added that he was excited to work with the organisation to take advantage of the various potential in the world of feature film, with a starting concentration on premium animated films for the theatrical market.